ONGOLE: Alarmed by the death of 423 persons due to Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) in Prakasam district since January 2015, the State government has sanctioned three more dialysis centres for the district.
The dialysis centres, costing ?1.50 crore and coming up in public private partnership mode, will start functioning in a couple of months at Markapur, Kangiri, and Kandukur, says District Medical and Health Officer J. Yasmin.
“About 2,000 patients from the district undergo dialysis either in government or private hospitals in the district, or in neighbouring Nellore and Guntur districts,” says Ch.V. Satyanarayana, Medical Officer attached to the National Programme for Prevention and Control of Fluorosis (NPPCF).
The announcement came close on the heels of some patients from the Kangiri area calling on Leader of the Opposition in Assembly Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy in Hyderabad earlier this week after the problem of CKD patients in the Uddhanam area of Srikakulam district got highlighted after the visit of actor and Jana Sena Party founder Pawan Kalyan.
Moved by their plight, Mr. Jaganmohan Reddy said that he would interact with patients at P.C. Palli on Friday, YSRC Chief Whip in Parliament Y.V. Subba Reddy said.
Accusing the YSRC chief of shedding crocodile tears, senior TDP leader Gali Muddukrishnamma Naidu told reporters here on Thursday that the government accorded top priority to providing safe drinking water and empowered District Collectors to spend any amount for the purpose. The government was committed to completing the Veligonda project to find a permanent solution to the drinking water problem, he added.
“Fluoride-induced CKD is high in the district. The problem is severe in 48 of 56 mandals. Drought for the third consecutive year only accentuated the water problem. Fluoride toxicity increases malfunctioning of the kidneys and damages bones and other organs,” explained K. Krishnarjuna Rao, Medical Officer at the dialysis centre at RIMS.
He suggested provision of surface water to the people in the affected areas and keeping under control diabetes and hypertension, the primary causes for CKD. Heavy or long-term use of analgesics (pain killers) by those suffering from skeleton fluorosis leads to CKD, he added.
People in the fluoride-affected areas should avoid consuming crops grown with fluoride-affected water, suggested Satyanarayana, a doctor.
Citing the example of people in areas with high fluoride content in water in Punjab not getting affected, he suggested a diet rich in calcium and magnesium. Aluminium utensils should also be replaced with stainless steel ones, he added.
Meanwhile, a group of patients undergoing dialysis at RIMS wanted the government to open more dialysis centres in the district, especially in the CKD-prone areas such as P.C. Palli, Pamuru, Chandrasekarapuram, Podili, Kondepi.
“Travel by road after dialysis is agonising,” they added. They urged the government to bear the transport cost and also compensate the poor patients for loss of wages due to recurring hospital visits.